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What are the causes of tachycardia and how is it prevented ?

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Practicing since : 2001
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I am a 33 year old female, mother of two, 128 lbs, 5'5" and have a history of VSD (closed around age 10), pulmonary stenosis and a pulse that sits around 130 on a good day. My blood pressure at time is borderline high. I have a history of anorexia and bulimia and during a recent physical my doctor stated my heartbeat was irregular. I had a vasovegal episode in 2009 and my heart stopped for 3 minutes during gallbladder surgery. After that I had a complete heart workup. Tests showed nothing but my heart rate was 120 at rest that day so I was sent to an electrophysiologist.

I had one physician diagnose me with POTS and SVT (8 runs on monitor) and placed me on a beta blocker. I couldn't tolerate the meds at all, we tried many different types including calcium channel blockers. I decided to go for a second opinion b/c I was sick of the meds and felt worse on them. The other electrophysiologist said I didn't have SVT (he said he disagreed with the reading) or POTS and that I simply had a rapid pulse that wouldn't kill me. I was told to stop all medication. I am now having symptoms again with chest pain, fatigue and just feeling exhausted, especially during physical activity, including sex. Should I go back on meds or go for yet another expensive 3rd opinion.
I'm worried about causing damage to my heart with the constant rapid pulse. Thank you for any help.
Posted Thu, 12 Apr 2012 in Heart Rate and Rhythm Disorders
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 35 minutes later
Thanks for writing to us.
A normal adult's pulse can be anywhere from 60 to 100 beats per minute. Anything over 100 is technically defined as a tachycardia.
A few possibilities which need to be ruled out include:
1.Electrolyte imbalance-Abnormal levels of potassium, magnesium and calcium can cause tachycardia. A simple blood test will rule out these.
2.Hyperthyroidism- Raised levels of thyroid hormone is a common cause of palpitations.
3.Excessive intake of caffeine, tobacco and alcohol can cause tachycardia. Restrict their use as much as possible.
4.Illicit drugs use and other medicines might cause tachycardia.
5. Avoid stress and anxiety. Practice yoga, XXXXXXX breathing exercises and relaxation exercises.
6. Anemia
7. Heart disorders
I suggest you to get it examined from a physician and get your Hb levels, thyroid function tests and an EKG and stress ECHO ruled out. An ECHO is needed to check out the recent functioning of the heart. If still no abnormal reports come then just taking a beta blocker and an anti anxiety drug with low day time sedation will help solve your problem.
I hope my answer and recommendations are adequate and helpful. Waiting for your further follow up queries if any.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What are the causes of tachycardia and how is it prevented ? 51 minutes later
Thank you for your response. I did have an echo and it was normal except for pulmonary stenosis (mild) and I had the thyroid tests (normal) before the doctor said it was POTS. I"m not sure how two electrophysiologists can have such different opinions for my treatment. They weren't even close to each other! Can I face future problems if I continue with untreated tach?? Thank you!;) Ang
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 8 hours later
Thanks for writing again.
Different opinions of electrophysiologists depends on their perception. For predicting any future problems, it depends on the cause due to which you are having tachycardia. You need to find out the cause after proper examination.
Wishing you an early recovery.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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